Faced with a glimmed, lean prospects ahead made worse by dwindling economy and declining purchasing power by mass of its citizens, Niger State Government is tinkering with a revolutionary idea of back to land to encouraged civil servants to go into subsistence farming to ensure food security across the state.
The government said it is streaming out an agricultural revolution for both school students and civil servants to galvanize more interest in agriculture, food productivity and livestock farming to shore up interest in food production that could lead to self reliance by families for their empowerment.
The government said it will encourage civil servants and schools to embrace farming and to cultivate potions of land for agricultural purposes to add value to their earnings and purchasing power.
In a seamless but persuasive move, the state government said it will soon introduce deliberate programmes to make fertilizer, crop seeds and other farm inputs available as part of the move to tackle the sweeping poverty amongst middle and low income workers in the state’s public sector by encouraging them to invest their energies and little resources in agriculture whose benefits are expansive.
Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism in the state, Jonathan Tsado Vatsa said in a statement that government was concerned over the spiral increase in the prices of all food items including agricultural produce in markets which have gone beyond the reach of most households across the state.
The Commissioner opined that by encouraging civil servants to embrace farming and the introduction of farm clubs in schools, a subtle revolution would have ensued in the minds of the citizens as part of measures to encourage food production for self sustenance.
He said the current economic realities in the country calls for wholistic, practical approaches to redress the drift to hunger, high cost of living and hyper inflation adding that the present administration in the state is willing to explore ways to make life easier by improving on the lots of it’s citizens.
“This government is ready to ignite the passion that could make the citizens invest in agriculture including large scale farming by taking advantage of the large expanse of arable farm land across the state”
The Commissioner charged citizens in the state to cash in on the natural endowment of the state as a food basket to churn out more food and cash crops. Niger state is a leading rice, yams, cowpea producer.
Farmers in the state also produce lots of cotton, cassava, sorghum, peanuts, cashew, sheanuts and soybeans to place the state on the national map as a huge food basket.
The Commissioner noted that with additional hands on the ploughs, the agricultural sector in the state would be revolutionized for greater yields with multiplier effects on the economy of the state and empowerment for the citizens.
He said the present administration in the state was determined to support and increase the number of rice growers to further increase rice production in the state. He therefore urged citizens to avail themselves of the several incentives provided by the government to encourage civil servants to join in the agriculture chain for maximum food production.
Vatsa argued that one of the fastest ways to end economic recession and its concomitant affects on the economic landscape of a country is to stream up productivity, food supply, and particularly farming.
As a booster to the government’s drive to encourage civil servants to go into farming, the Commissioner announced that the state government is to make fertilizer available to willing civil servants and schools students for it’s back to land agriculture programme.